Minerals A-L from the Lime Crest and Farber Quarries

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Quarry minerals M-Z

ALBITE: "Popcorn rock" is the common name given to coarse-grained masses of albite at Lime Crest. I understand this to be a pseudomorph after calcite. Some albite from Lime Crest is also fluorescent under midrange UV. I have not found any well-formed albite crystals so far at the quarries, even in micro specimens. They exist, I'm sure.

ALLANITE: a "metamict" mineral, one that lacks definite internal structure due to radioactive breakdown over millenia. Brittle, prismatic or tabular allanite crystals occur in the pegmatite bodies at Lime Crest and at Franklin quarry. It is very difficult to isolate crystals of allanite from the matrix without breaking them, but you might get lucky and split the rock just the right way to preserve a 2 to 4mm crystal. Allanite is sometimes mildly radioactive.

ARAGONITE: chemically identical to calcite; different structure. Abundant as coatings on weathered rocks. Typically is mildly phosphorescent after exposure to UV light.

BARITE: found at Lime Crest; I'm not sure about the other quarries in the area, but I'd presume it would occur. One can find tabular, whitish crystals at Lime Crest. Sometimes they are distorted or saddle-shaped, but simple tests show they are barite. This mineral also appears in several other forms: dense, layered, granular, etc.
I have a few small specimens of bladed barite I've picked up in Lime Crest.

CALCITE: Calcium carbonate. At Lime Crest there occur some clear, short, pseudo-hexagonal calcite prisms, sometimes found with small pyrite cubes. Such perfect calcite crystals are uncommon, but worth looking for. Attractive micromounts and thumbnail specimens, these. They also fluoresce yellow-orange to whitish under longwave.  Calcite as a species is extremely common at the quarries, considering most of the marble consists of it.

CHLORITE (CLINOCHLORE): a micaceous mineral which occurs as tiny aggregates of greenish, yellowish-green, or brown plates. They appear hexagonal (like mica) but are actually monoclinic. This mineral occurs in the area quarries.

CORUNDUM: found as gray, blue-gray, and rarely blue (sapphire) varieties in Lime Crest and Franklin quarries. Crystals are most often anhedral or subhedral, subtranslucent to nearly opaque. Corundum also occurs in massive form. There is always the possibility, though, that one can find a distinctly-formed corundum crystal here.

EDENITE: pale green amphibole found in calcite. Practically impossible for the beginner to distinguish from actinolite or the other amphiboles without some sophisticated tests, although I have more than one amphibole specimen from Lime Crest which I'm pretty sure is edenite, based on showing it to sight-ID people possessing a great deal more experience than I have.

FERROAXINITE: This mineral occurs in Lime Crest, and has also been found in one or two places in Warren County. A few specimens from the Oxford Quarry are floating around on the mineral market today. 
Once in a while you might find small, "ax" or wedge-shaped crystals of it.

FLUOBORITE: I think it was the old Edison Quarry where good fluorescent specimens of this mineral were from; however, it occurs in smaller amounts at Lime Crest and probably Farber. We did find a small amount of fluorescent fluoborite in Lime Crest. Fluoborite occurs in the marble from Ogdensburg, NJ clear up through Orange County, NY and probably up into Canada, yet I wouldn't consider it all that common... not in good (fluorescent) specimens, at least.

GARNET: a reddish variety appears in the Lime Crest quarry, associated with the midrange-fluorescing albite and microcline. It is usually in massive form, but is still very attractive because of its color. Occasionally there turns up a crystal of this garnet, but these are usually subhedral and nearly opaque.

GRAPHITE: many peculiar forms of graphite occur as micro-specimens at the area quarries. The most sought-after form is the "radiating graphite", a fragile specimen of graphite "fins" that radiate out from a central point. These are usually about 7 or 8 millimeters across. Several collectors have found "radiating" graphites at Lime Crest. Plates of graphite are easy to confuse with molybdenite.

HEMIMORPHITE: has been found at area quarries. Would probably be near sphalerite or some other zinc-bearing region in the metamorphosed limestones. Botryoidal crusts of white, gray or tan minerals can also be aragonite. When they're in this form, the minerals can be easily confused without some simple chemical tests.

HORNBLENDE: Monoclinic crystals, usually prismatic, occur at Lime Crest and probably the other quarries of the area. Hornblende can also be massive form. Usually it's black, but can also be dark green or (I think) brown. The green varieties can be confused with other amphiboles such as edenite.  I don't think "hornblende" is an IMA-approved species of its own, but FERROHORNBLENDE certainly is.

HYDROZINCITE: since this is formed as an alteration product of sphalerite, you'd expect to find it near that mineral. Most of the hydrozincite, therefore, came from the Lime Crest MVT deposit, which had abundant sphalerite.

ILMENITE or HEMATITE crystals have been found in Lime Crest, together with a grayish variety of CORUNDUM and a silvery-gray, micaceous mineral that may be MARGARITE.  The ilmenite (or hematite) crystals are metallic, dark steel-gray.  Since I don't have access to Goldschmidt's Atlas der Krystallformen at the moment, I haven't been able to match the particular crystals to one or the other species.

LOELLINGITE: (Hardness: 5 to 5.5; Streak: black; Gravity: 7.1 to 7.5; Other: dissolves in nitric acid to leave yellow solution)
Iron di-arsenide, easily confused with (and often accompanied by) the iron-arsenic sulfide ARSENOPYRITE (Hardness: 5.5 to 6; Streak: black; Gravity: 5.9 to 6.2; Other: gives positive sulfur test).
Both these minerals have a silvery color & metallic appearance; however, loellingite is of the orthorhombic system, while arsenopyrite is monoclinic.
Loellingite occurs usually as blebs or grains in limestone and in the contact zones. It's associated with arsenopyrite, graphite, norbergite, titanite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, dravite, and / or a silvery mica (muscovite?). I found one tiny crystal at Lime Crest with the right appearance and shape to be loellingite.
Fine loellingite or arsenopyrite particles are non-magnetic (unlike those of pyrrhotite). Loellingite and arsenopyrite also give off a garlic (arsenic) smell when freshly broken, and fresh surfaces lack the weak bronze hue of pyrrhotite.

Quarry minerals M-Z


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